Have you ever created a superb video but never published because it was not steady enough? Or do you usually have problems keeping the camera/phone balanced and firm because of your shaky hands? Or are you unable to rotate and use your device to the maximum? Either way, Gimbal solves your problems. It is the ideal accessory that can steady your gadget, especially when using it while in motion.
Anyhow, you are here and reading this article only because you want to improve your vlogging and become stronger, therefore trying to explore ways to do it.
Nowadays, vloggers have taken over the production teams while creating everything single-handedly. Gimbal is a tool that helps them to achieve their desired video with no one’s help.
For many content creators, gimbal is not an absolute must-have, as they do pretty well without it too. Hence, it is totally up to your requirement and needs to go forth with it.
By the end of this article, you will know everything you need to know about this gimbal thingy that is trending all over the place. Though it is quite an old add-on, over the years it has become more trendy, accessible and budget-friendly.
I have searched the net and used the product personally, which has made me confident in sharing my knowledge with you. If you are a Vlogger who does a lot of commercial work or is usually on the move, you need to stick around and keep reading this.
Gimbal is used for phones and cameras both and is not something you buy frequently but is rather an investment. While looking for the perfect and best suited gimbal, you need to be looking for something light, swift and portable.
These days many cameras have image stabilization and autofocus, which is wonderful because it helps in curbing the smaller problems. Gimbals are battery operated devices that stabilize your device to create neater and more stable shots.
Rather briefly, a gimbal is an amalgamation of a tripod and a selfie stick. It helps in giving you space while shooting content on selfie mode, while keeping your shooting device rock steady.
It also allows you to move and adjust it vertically or horizontally, as required. While buying one, it is important to be mindful of the fact that the gimbal will carry the weight of your gadget, adding to its own.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN STEADICAM VS GIMBAL:
Steadicams are more expensive than Gimbals. One advantage they may have over the other is that they give great results while shooting and walking. Steadicams can give you longer shots and steadier shots.
This option is more durable but you need to have a pre-planned shot because the machinery is heavy and not easy to maneuver around.
This is a cheaper, more user and time friendly option. The newer Gimbals have stronger motors, allowing it to handle heavier cameras. With every passing year, the Gimbals are getting lighter, stronger and more capable in comparison to the previous year’s lot.
A disadvantage of a Gimbal is that you may need to do duck-walk for a steadier result. There have been instances when the Gimbal software crashes thus being unable to restart.
Single Axis VS. 3 Axis Gimbals
Since you are aware of what a Gimbal is, its benefits, its competitor and the preferred brand; you must have heard about Axis too. Different Gimbals have different Axises.
Axis is the part of the Gimbal that allows your device to rotate, allowing you to cover more. Keeping this in mind, it makes sense that the more the Axis, the more the flexibility in creating your videos. Purely for information bases, there are three types of Axis- Pitch (up and down), Roll (horizontal to vertical) and Yaw (Left to right, also known as panning)
Single Axis Gimbal is primarily for shooting on Drone. With this, the camera has to zoom in and crop the footage to get a tighter shot
2-Axis Gimbal focuses on Pitch and Roll only. These are fancy words for up and down or tilting. A double Axis Gimbal gives you the leverage to shoot your moving object or shoot while moving, steadily. This is commonly used by Amateurs, beginners and intermediate Vloggers. It fulfills your requirement and gives you the desired result. It is pocket-friendly and good to use.
Triple Axis Gimbal is inclusive of Roll, Pitch and Yaw. Without any question, this is more technically sound yet complicated to use. You will find professional videographers using a 3-Axis Gimbal. It stabilizes the camera and prevents big and small bumps. A good example of a 3-Axis shot is a moving boat in the sea. The camera is steady and gives you a good feel without excess movement. There is a major disadvantage to this one; the battery drains faster than anticipated.
Which Gimbal Should You Choose?
This depends on what your objective is and how much of a professional you are. I use a Double Axis Gimbal, you want to know why? It is cheaper than the 3-Axis one and gives good results. It helps me in achieving the effect I want.
If you are a professional, 3-Axis is cut for you, otherwise 2-Axis Gimbal should be good enough! Believe me, you will thank me on this one.
Hand Held VS Standing
You may be wondering, should I go for the hand held one or the standing one? Well, this is certainly not a difficult one so let’s get to the point.
For vloggers, hand held is ideal. Why you may wonder; Vloggers are a one-man production team. A hand held will allow you to move about swiftly and as and when required. If you are a phone Vlogger, then there are certainly no two ways about it. If you have a camera, you need to be careful when choosing your handheld Gimbal because not all cameras are not suitable for it mainly because of the weight it adds to it. This is where the Standing Gimbal comes to play. You can use a tripod to steady your camera.
If you don’t want to use a standing Gimbal even, perhaps consider using internal stabilization with a mini tabletop tripod to do the job for you.
BEST GIMBAL FOR MOBILE PHONE
1- DJI OM 5
Portable with built-in extension rods, OM 5 is a 3-Axis Gimbal that is best suited for smartphones of all sorts, inclusive of iPhone13. It supports Gesture control and does not have a remote control option available.
With the extension rod, you can include a wider angle to your frame, whether shooting in selfie mode or the other. Om 5 is portable and known as ‘palm-sized giving you the flexibility and comfort to use and safely keep it.
I would call this a powerhouse of stabilization with its three motors that support the smartphone while in motion. This makes the movements smooth as it adapts to your movements steadily. The extension of the rod iworks like a selfie stick. It may not seem so because it is much smaller than its predecessor, but is capable of holding larger phones.
Critics have commented on this version of DJI to be more compatible with iPhones than Android. The battery life is great. Though it takes a few hours to charge, the battery runs longer than anticipated.
Reason To Buy?
- Value for money
- 3-Axis Gimbal, ideal for smartphones
- iPhone compatibility
Reason To Avoid?
- The folding is a bit weighty
- May not be ideal for larger phones
- No battery replacement option
BEST GIMBAL FOR GOPRO :
1- Hohem iSteady Pro 4
GoPro Gimbals are designed for those Vloggers who film action like sports and heavy movements. The ideal GoPro Gimbal is compact, light and steady. Home iSteady Pro 4 is the perfect combination of these characteristics.
It is unfortunate that companies do not upgrade GoPro as quickly as they do other categories. This makes it difficult for the Vloggers to choose the best option from the limited available options in the market.
I have personally not tested a GoPro but my research and experience guides me to recommend and speak for it. There are countless reviews that I have read and taken in account before choosing the ideal Gimbal for Vloggers in this category.
With a 4.5 star rating on Amazon, Pro 4 is giving a tough competition to its competitors in the market. It is a handheld Gimbal equipped with 5.0 iSteady anti-shake system, providing a smooth and steady result for a Vlog. It is capable of rotating your phone to 360 degrees for the Vlogger to enjoy the most while filming. You can even attach this device with your tripod, if needed.
You can pair the Gimbal to wireless and easily control the options at a distance. Pro 4 is waterproof with excellent battery life (14 hours, approximately). The Bluetooth option allows saving and utilizing the battery in a power-saving mode. Hohem provides a 12-month warranty to its users, assuring quality and great service.
If you are looking for a shake-free footage without spending more than your budget, this is for you. It is value for money, with excellent shooting modes.
Reason To Buy?
- 14-Hours battery life
Reason To Avoid?
- Has a plastic feel to it
- Material quality can improve
BEST GIMBAL FOR BEGINNERS:
1- Zhiyun Smooth 4
A 3-Axis Gimbal, Smooth 4 is ideal for beginners who are starting their Vlogging. You may wonder why? Its prime feature is stabilization. It doesn’t have many add-ons like others so can be categorized as a no-nonsense one; exactly what beginners need.
It is a Gimbal on a budget but the results are impressive and quite savvy. I can say that I have tried this, borrowed from a friend for 3 outdoor shoots of mine. I used my smartphone with it and it stuck pretty well for the 3 hours I roamed, jumped and skipped around!
The footage it gave me was professional and flawless. Smooth 4 is a good buy under $100 especially with the results you get. Its supporting App has some fun features to explore and use in your shoots and edits such as zoom, subject tracking and timers.
The body is robust and sturdy, allowing the Vlogger to stay in control.
Reason To Buy?
- Zoom vertigo effect
- Great Stabilization
- Superb for new Vloggers
Reason To Avoid?
- Not compatible with DSLR
- No joystick
- ZY play App can improve because it is not up to the mark compared to its competitors
BEST GIMBAL FOR DSLR:
1- ZhiYun Crane-M2
If beast is the right word, Crane M-2 is it. The features it comes with are a treat to any Vlogger. It is definitely going to cost more than the previous ones because this is a totally different ball game.
The handle has an OLED screen which gives you the visibility you need to create content. It is 3-Axis and gives you direct access to the Camera’s basic features.
With 18-hour battery life, you can seriously conquer the world! Plus, you can even charge your camera from the Gimbal battery. This surely is heaven for Vloggers because battery life is so important. Additionally, it can be charged using a powerbank too.
One thing that may be a problem is the weight. Since it is a handheld Gimbal, it could cause your arm to hurt sooner than later, making it difficult for you to enjoy those 18-hours to the max. What you can do is, use a mini tripod to secure while shooting. Nonetheless, it is ideal for DSLRs especially for Vloggers.
While procuring, it comes with a tripod, a smart cover along with a few more accessories. One of the finest features to admire is the PF mode. It pans your camera effortlessly, which is wonderful for your Vlogging content, whether it’s to be published on YouTube or any other social media platform.
It has a very good focus that stays intact even while moving. Crane M-2 comes with 3 levels of focus adjustment.
Reason To Buy?
- Six operation modes
- Portable design, best for travels
- Quick release camera system
Reason To Avoid?
- Check Camera and phone compatibility
BEST GIMBAL FOR MIRRORLESS:
1- ZhiYun Weebill S
When choosing a Gimbal for your mirrorless camera, you will need to ensure you choose the one that perfectly balances your device, giving you perfect shots. Zhi Yun Weebill S is the newest kid on the block, and is fully packed with adequate features that will thrill your Vlogger skills and muscles.
Unlike many other Gimbals available in the same price range, Weebill S is lightweight and compact making it easy to hold and use especially on longer shoots. It caters to mainstream mirrorless cameras.
It has a very useful feature that allows you to zoom and focus with a wheel on its body. The focus is steady and stays on the object even while panning. So far, I have not gotten my hands on it, which I will very soon though. I want to try this one out just to experience the thrill of creating heavy duty and flawless content.
Unlike the predecessors, it is highly responsive and eliminates the shakiness in the movements. Amongst the many features, it is introducing the Sync Motion which is a sensor you can install from its App. It allows real-time monitoring and synchronization.
Reason To Buy?
- Compact and light
- Comes with interchangeable batteries
- Supports zoom and focus
Reason To Avoid?
- The vibration needs improvement
- It is expensive and caters to a niche
Gimbals may not be a necessity to every Vlogger but it surely does add value to your content. Not only that, many Gimbals are so effective that they make your life easy. If you are a serious Vlogger, irrespective of beginner or pro, I would recommend you to invest in a good Gimbal that matches your requirements but most importantly is compatible with your device.
The good thing is that the majority of the Gimbals nowadays are phone and camera compatible which broadens your options.